How to Care for a Red Banana Plant


The red banana plant (Ensete ventricosum) produce large leaves that range in color from simple green to a deep burgundy. Each green leaf normally appears outlined and highlighted with red for a striking overall appearance. Long flowers appear on 4 foot stems in the spring. The fruit dry and inedible but banana-like in appearance. The plant easily grows 30 feet in height with each leaf measuring 20 feet in length. Considered to be a herbaceous perennial in mild areas. The red banana plant does not tolerate frost well and must be lifted or moved in areas of cold weather.

Step 1

Plant in full sunlight to partial shade. The red banana plant prefers well-drained slightly acidic soil with abundant organic matter. When planting add peat moss, leaf debris or aged manure to the soil. The plant flourishes in containers or in tropical to sub-tropical regions.

Step 2

Water the red banana plant every other day. The soil needs to be kept moist, but not saturated.

Step 3

Fertilize the red banana plant using a 8-10-8 general purpose fertilizer. Apply 1 to 2 lbs. around the base of the plant. Water it thoroughly into the soil. Apply monthly in the spring and summer.

Step 4

Dig up the red banana plant in areas with freezing temperatures. Cut away all the top foliage but three or four leaves. Remove any large roots. Pot the plant in a container until spring and move it into a greenhouse or house. The plant can also be stored in a dark garage or basement until spring.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-10-8 general purpose fertilizer
  • Organic matter such as peat moss, aged manure or leaf debris


  • Floridata: Ensete ventricosum
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Bananas
  • Botanical Journeys Plant Guide: Red Bananas

Who Can Help

  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Red Banana
Keywords: red banana plant, red banana care, red banana growth, Ensete ventricosum

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.